If you or someone you know in the Twin Tiers has had a concussion, there’s a terrific monthly support group that you should join based at Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, Pa.
The Twin Tiers Sports Post-Concussion Support Group was founded and is run by Steve Hicks, a licensed/certified athletic trainer with Guthrie who is contracted out full-time to Athens Area High School, with outreach to Tioga Central High School in New York State.
Steve started the group in November 2010 for high school athletes, their family and friends, but has since opened the group to everyone recovering from post-concussion syndrome.
As an injury attorney who has witnessed first-hand the devastation that head injuries can wreak on the lives of my clients, I have always wished that there was a local support group to help my clients and their families. Steve’s support group made that wish come true.
“Since concussions are not typically ‘visible’ injuries, and there is often a lack of knowledge on how to manage concussed patients, these athletes and their parents were left feeling alone and adrift, without resources,” Hicks said. “I founded the support group after noting that many of these families seemed to be feeling what I called the ‘Deserted Island Effect,’ as if they were the only people to be dealing with such issues. The mission of the group is to help everyone get off their own deserted island.”
The group meets once a month during the school year, at 2 p.m. on a Sunday at Guthrie Clinic in Sayre. People can attend in person, or remote from anywhere in the world if they register to join the support group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/TwinTiersSportsPostConcsussionSupportGroup.
Once you are an approved member of the group, you can watch the meetings on Facebook Live on the page, and there is also a link on the Facebook page to a GoToMeeting page.
The next meeting is on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 2 p.m. in the fourth floor 4 Blue Conference Room in the clinic in Sayre. The guest speaker is Cheyanne Northrup, a graduate of Athens Area High School. She was involved in cheerleading, track and field, and diving in school. She suffered a concussion while diving her junior year. During one dive, she didn’t land properly and hit the back of her directly on the water. Now she has memory problems and will talk about her struggles from post-concussion syndrome.
Other upcoming meetings:
Sunday, Jan. 14, 2 p.m. in the 4 Blue Conference Room, Sayre Guthrie Clinic.
Guest speaker: Erin Stackhouse. A graduate of Athens Area High School, Erin sustained a concussion that changed her life while playing indoor soccer her senior year. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and is a mental health technician at the Commonwealth Health First Hospital and is a crisis clinician at Commonwealth Health Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
Sunday, Feb. 11, 2 p.m., 4 Blue Conference Room,Sayre Guthrie Clinic.
Guest speaker: Jenna Mosenson of concussionsmatter.org will talk about her life with concussions, her website, and her foundation.
Sunday, March 18, 2 p.m., 4 Blue Conference Room, Sayre Guthrie Clinic.
Guest speaker: Claire Lapat of Wynnewood, PA (near Philadelphia) is a senior at The Shipley School. She had the first of her more than 10 concussions in a gym class when she was 10 years old, and she continued to have more as she played soccer. She will talk about how her previous school didn’t support or help her with her concussion/brain injury, and how one of her coaches would have her team do three hours of heading practice and then would mock the girls if they were diagnosed with a concussion or talked about symptoms of concussions.
Sunday, April 22, 2 p.m., 4 Blue Conference Room, Sayre Guthrie Clinic.
Guest speaker: Rusty Wolf, who has had concussions from sports, domestic violence, farm work, violence at work, and a major motor-vehicle accident.
Sunday, May 20, 2 p.m., 4 Blue Conference Room, Sayre Guthrie Clinic.
Guest speaker: Fawn Weaver and her mother, Jeanette, first talked to the support group in May 2015 and Fawn wants to update the group. She graduated from high school and now attends college. She began suffering concussions in the eighth grade.
Thanks for reading!